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Editors' Review

by   / April 04, 2012

WYSIWYG stands for "what you see is what you get," and it's been a computer term since it made the jump from TV catchphrase in the 1970s. A WYSIWYG editor lets you edit e-books in something as close as possible to their final form, which greatly improves not only editing accuracy but also the appearance and presentation of the text. It's critical for readability in both traditional and electronic publishing formats. We looked at Sigil, a free, open-source, multiplatform e-book editor that is designed to edit ePub documents such as e-books. Sigil offers full Unicode support and full EPUB specification support. An extensive users' manual and blog provide help and tips.

Sigil's installer let us associate the program with EPUB, TXT, and HTML files. The program's user interface is nicely designed and rendered, with attractive and colorful icons on a browserlike toolbar that offers a nice break from the hieroglyphics of typical editing toolbars.

The main view is divided vertically between three resizable panels: a Book Browser on the left, a tabbed document view in the middle, and a Table of Contents panel on the right -- a logical layout that we could augment with an optional Validation Results panel along the window's bottom edge. But we could also drag views out of Sigil's interface and place them independently, as well as rearrange the program's panels simply by dragging and dropping them into place.

We were able to start typing right away in the blank XHTML document in Sigil's main Book View. The toolbar handles formatting and also offers Undo and Redo. The Book Browser's tree view showed not only our document in the Text folder but also other folders such as for Styles, Images, and Fonts. The Chapter Break and Insert Image tools save time while typing.

Sigil's many extras include the Cleaning with HTML Tidy, Check for Well-Formed Errors, and Validate ePub tools as well as the Split View, which splits the main window horizontally, displaying a file's Book View above and its Code View below. With Sigil, what you get is what you need.

What do you need to know about free software?


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Full Specifications

What's new in version 0.9.14

Bug Fixes:

  • flush all changes to disk before creating a Report so that files sizes are correct
  • stop writing python bytecode to Program Files on Windows
  • remember cover semantics if cover image replaced by Add Existing...
  • fix issues with the Plugin Framework documentation epub
  • more memory leaks plugged
  • minor code cleanups

New Features:

  • updated to Qt 5.12.3 with Annulen Webkit 5.212 with extra QtCursor memory leak fixes
  • updated to Python 3.7.2
  • updated build docs for macOS, Linux and Windows
  • build system now uses GNUInstallDirs to determine the best installation libdir on Linux
  • updated desktop integration for Linux
  • reduce PCRE cache size to help lower memory footprint
  • improve mapping of hunspell dictionary names to actual language names (thanks BeckyDTP)
  • add warning during import if unmanifested files exist in the epub zip archive
  • no longer requires use of non-breaking space entities (or any entities at all!)
  • special spaces are now visisble via syntax highlighting in CodeView
  • dropping epubs on no longer opens an extra empty epub on macOS
  • reload Preview only when needed to help prevent screen flicker and lower memory use
  • enabled Windows automated builds using Apppveyor
  • Windows releases now compiled with Visual Studio 2017
  • characters in HTML files report now uses gumbo for speed
  • allow user's custom plugin icons to survive a plugin update


Publisher Strahinja Markovic
Publisher web site
Release Date June 11, 2019
Date Added June 13, 2019
Version 0.9.14


Category Productivity Software
Subcategory Text Editing Software

Operating Systems

Operating Systems Windows 2000/XP/Vista/7
Additional Requirements None

Download Information

File Size 54MB
File Name Sigil-0.9.14-Windows-Setup.exe


Total Downloads 32,524
Downloads Last Week 40


License Model Free
Limitations Not available
Price Free
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